‘Marie Antoinette Of The Senate’: Rep. King Blasts McConnell’s Push To Bankrupt NY, NJ As ‘Shameful, Indefensible’
McConnell suggested on a radio show that Republicans should oppose additional aid for state and local governments such as New York and New Jersey in future coronavirus relief bills.
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/CBSNews) – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday he would rather let state governments declare bankruptcy during the coronavirus pandemic than receive more federal funding, prompting Long Island GOP Rep. Peter King to call him the “Marie Antoinette of the Senate.”
McConnell suggested Republicans should oppose additional aid for state and local governments such as New York and New Jersey in future coronavirus relief bills.
“McConnell’s dismissive remark that States devastated by Coronavirus should go bankrupt rather than get the federal assistance they need and deserve is shameful and indefensible,” said King on Twitter. “To say that it is ‘free money’ to provide funds for cops, firefighters and healthcare workers makes McConnell the Marie Antoinette of the Senate.”
.@senatemajldr McConnell’s dismissive remark that States devastated by Coronavirus should go bankrupt rather than get the federal assistance they need and deserve is shameful and indefensible. To say that it is “free money” to provide funds for…
— Rep. Pete King (@RepPeteKing) April 23, 2020
State governments do not have a way to declare bankruptcy, but radio host Hugh Hewitt asked McConnell in an interview Wednesday if “we need to invent” a bankruptcy code so that states facing financial fallout from the pandemic “can discharge some of these liabilities that were put in place by previous governors.”
“I would certainly be in favor of allowing states to use the bankruptcy route,” McConnell said. “It saves some cities. And there’s no good reason for it not to be available. My guess is their first choice would be for the federal government to borrow money from future generations to send it down to them now so they don’t have to do that. That’s not something I’m going to be in favor of.”
The senate majority’s leaders comments came the day after Gov. Andrew Cuomo met face-to-face with President Donald Trump about the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think it’s a terrible mistake not to provide funding for the states,” said Cuomo. “I get small businesses, I get airlines. How about police? How about fire? How about healthcare workers? How about teachers? We’re not going to fund schools? I don’t get it.”
The governor wants the president and Congress to come up with funds to provide hazard pay for frontline workers, and to provide budget aid. New York’s tab is now as much as $15 billion. The governor bemoaned the fact that as of now, the latest stimulus package has no direct budget aid for states.
“You have to help state governments, because state governments fund the people that the federal government can’t fund,” Cuomo said. “State and local governments, we’re funding police, we’re funding fire, we’re funding teachers, we’re funding schools. You can’t just ignore them.”